Skip to main content

The Radulovacki Visiting Scholars

Thanks to the generosity of donors Brad Radulovacki ’83, a member of Weinberg’s Board of Visitors, and Karen Radulovacki, the Visiting Scholar position has afforded us the extraordinary opportunity to recruit leading global scholars to spend a quarter teaching and sharing their work in and beyond our Global Health Studies community each academic year.

The Radulovackis have a long history of involvement with and support for GHS at Northwestern, including donations to fund undergraduate research and support for the establishment of our summer study abroad program in the former Yugoslavia in 2016, Comparative Public Health: Serbia and Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Beginning in 2018, GHS faculty and administrators shared two emerging priorities for our future with the Radulovackis: expanding our course offerings and the diversity of our faculty amid high student demand; and addressing the challenge of decolonizing global health scholarship and teaching, given the long historical dominance of Global North-based scholars in the field. These discussions led to the establishment of the Radulovacki Visiting Scholars program as way to bring leading scholars from around the world to teach a course within GHS, deliver a public lecture, and deliver on our collective commitment to elevate underrepresented voices in global health scholarship.

In part to honor Brad Radulovacki’s Serbian roots, as well as the remarkable teaching of our study abroad program partners in locations like Serbia, we invited Dr. Ivan Djordjević of the Belgrade Institute of Ethnography to serve as our inaugural Radulovacki Visiting Scholar in the spring quarter of 2020. Dr. Djordjević, a cultural and medical anthropologist with extensive experience in community-based research on the public health challenges facing marginalized communities in Southeast Europe, is a core member of our summer program teaching team in Serbia. The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic and accompanying restrictions meant that Dr. Djordjević had to teach online from Belgrade in the spring of 2020, so when travel and in-person teaching normalized we brought him back in person to teach again and deliver a public lecture in the spring of 2022. His course, “Health Care Under Socialism and Post-Socialism,” was a fully-enrolled success in both iterations, and his public lecture on health disparities among Serbia’s Roma population in May 2022 drew students and faculty from across Northwestern University.

We are honored to host Dr. Seye Abimbola as our second Radulovacki Visiting Scholar during Spring Quarter 2024. Dr. Abimbola (MD, PhD), a health systems researcher from Nigeria, is currently Associate Professor at the School of Public Health, University of Sydney, in Australia, where he teaches and studies knowledge practices in global health, health system governance, and the adoption and scale up of innovations. He was the inaugural editor in chief of BMJ Global Health from 2016 to 2024. For his work on dignity and justice in global health research, Professor Abimbola was awarded the 2020-22 Prince Claus Chair in Equity and Development at Utrecht University in the Netherlands. His new book, The Foreign Gaze: Essays on Global Health, will be published by IRD Editions later this year. He is currently teaching a course in GHS called “Decolonisation, Knowledge, and Global Health.” Dr. Abimbola’s public lecture, entitled “To Connect a System to More of Itself,” will be held on Thursday, April 18, and all are welcome.